National Geographic : 1989 Oct
in 1819 by Barnabas and Jona than Langdon and operated at several points along the Hudson River. Another type of two horse ferry (bottom left) ran on the Ohio River in the late 19th century. In the winter of 1988 Scott Hill invited NATIONAL GEO GRAPHIC photographer Emory Kristof and me to conduct an additional survey of the Bur lington teamboat through the lake's frozen surface, using sector-scan sonar and a remotely operated underwater vehicle, or ROV. After cutting an opening through the eight-inch-thick ice, we lowered the ROV to the bot tom (top left) and filmed the wreck extensively. Later I dived on the wreck, whose fragile paddle-wheel spokes are examined by another diver (right). Although the wooden paddles between the spokes were missing, the wreck was well preserved in the lake's cold, fresh water. My dive provided a possible answer to why the Burlington teamboat sank. Before the dive I had pored over hundreds of photographs and sonar and video recordings of the sunken vessel without finding the cause of the wreck. But once under water I found a series of cracked frames along the ship's star board side that had eluded the video lens. The cracks and other damage to the vessel's hull sug gest that the ferry may have been trapped and crushed by ice, probably during a late autumn run. The fact that deck planks had been removed sug gests also that salvors had time to retrieve everything of value before the ferry went down.